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The Schools Season at the Bush

In response to one of the most urgent and divisive issues of our times, the Bush presents The Schools Season: The Knowledge by John Donnelly and Little Platoons by Steve Waters. The season will bring together an ensemble company of ten actors and a series of talks, debates and events which will examine education in Britain today. NB: These two productions will run in rep with each other. Please check here for times and dates for The Knowledge and here for the full programme of education events.

Little Platoons

You can call it liberalism. You can call it empowerment. You can call it freedom. You can call it responsibility. I call it the Big Society.
David Cameron

A group of West London parents are driven by desperation to take the new government up on their offer and start their own ‘free school’. They want to create an education that their children will enjoy rather than endure. But as they find their lives given over to a disturbing version of the Big Society, their fervour turns to panic.

Free schools are getting ready to transform from policy idea to classroom reality. But what do we know about them?
This dark new comedy takes the pulse of Coalition Britain, by exploring what the retreat of the state and the growth of people power might actually mean. Moving from satiric comedy to poignant family drama, it asks why we’re all so obsessed with education and what happens when we get what we wish for.

Steve Waters’ previous work for the Bush Theatre includes The Contingency Plan (On the Beach and Resilience) which was shortlisted for 2009 John Whiting Award).

This is a past event
Sound Designer


Joanne Froggatt

Joanne Froggatt, best known for role as Anna in Downton Abbey, has appeared in numerous TV, film and stage productions including All About My Mother at The Old Vic, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf at the Royal Exchange Theatre and Be My Baby at Soho Theatre Company.

On screen she has appeared in Identity, Life on Mars, Island at War, Coronation Street and BAFTA Award winning drama See No Evil: The Moors Murderers.

Christopher Simpson


Forthcoming films include the Cuban-set drama THE DAY OF THE FLOWERS, directed by John Roberts and Mira Fornayová’s psychological drama LITTLE FOXES. Other film work includes Sarah Gavron’s film adaptation of Monica Ali’s best-selling novel, BRICK LANE, Penny Woolcock’s exuberant MISCHIEF NIGHT, and Michael Winterbottom’s CODE 46. Christopher also worked with Mike Figgis on THE GROUND BENEATH HER FEET, and on French film LE FILS DE MON PERE, filmed on location in Paris.

Television includes: SPOOKS: CODE 9. The TV adaptation of Zadie Smith’s novel WHITE TEETH, SECOND GENERATION, and Paul Abbott’s STATE OF PLAY.

Theatre work includes FALLUJAH, written from eyewitness accounts and directed by Jonathan Holmes for ICA at the Truman Brewery, and THE BACCHAE OF BAGHDAD at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, in which he played the lead, Dionysus. The title role in PERICLES in a site-specific co-production between the Royal Shakespeare Company and Cardboard Citizens, Bharatha in THE RAMAYANA at the National Theatre, and Omar in FRAGILE LAND at the Hampstead Theatre.

Aside from his work as an actor, he has written a song cycle, VERY PRESENT TENSE, which premiered during the Liverpool Capital of Culture. He also made a documentary for BBC Radio 4 called OTHER in which he explored the identities of people who have parents of different origins and have grown up in a culture belonging to neither parent.

Joe Cole

Theatre includes: Polling Booth (Theatre 503); Relish (National Youth Theatre), Brixton Rock (Young Vic Theatre); Bus (Cockpit Theatre); Talking to Byron (National Youth Theatre / Roundhouse Camden); Tits and Teeth (National Youth Theatre / Soho Theatre); Laters (Team Angelica / Drill Hall Theatre); Birdboot, Twelfth Night, Our Country’s Good (Ilex Theatre);
Accrington Pals, Our Bad Magnet, Helmet (Kingston Youth Theatre)

Television includes; Injustice, Citizen Shane Pilot, Stanley Park, The Bill, Holby City, Concrete Jungle.

Film Includes: Do Or Die 3D Teaser, Come Fly With Me, Hand, Assessment, Six.

Susannah Harker

THEATRE includes: A Good Death (National Theatre Studio); Lucky Seven (Hampstead Theatre); Jingo: A Farce of War (Finborough Theatre, London); ON the Shore of the Wide World (Royal Exchange/National Theatre); Three Sisters (Playhouse Theatre); The Little Black Book (Riverside Studios); The Browning Version (Derby Playhouse); Uncle Vanya (The Gate and New York); Tartuffe (Almeida Theatre); The Importance of Being Earnest (Aldwych Theatre); She Stoops to Conquer (Chichester Festival Theatre); Venus Observed (Chichester Festival Theatre); Coriolanus (Chichester Festival Theatre); Raceing Demon (National Theatre); The Debutante Ball (Hampstead Theatre); Look Back in Anger (Bristol Old Vic)

TELEVISION includes: Moving On, Midsummer Murders, Perfect Parents, Waking the Dead, Murder in Mind – Motive, Ultra-Violet, Under the Sun, Pride and Prejudice
Faith, The Memoires of Sherlock Holmes, Adam Bede, House of Cards, Chancer, Till we Meet Again, The Fear, Troubles, The Lady’s Not for Burning

FILM includes: My Mother (short Film), The Calling, Trance, Intimacy, Burke and Wills, White Mischief, A Dry White Season, The Crucifier of Blood, Surviving Picasso.

Kerron Darby

Kerron trained at the Identity Drama School, the United Kingdom’s first black drama school.
Theatre credits include Totally Over You (Arcola Theatre) and Gunshot (Stratford Circus).
Television credits include The Bill, Casualty, BBC2’s Beautiful People and Silent Witness.

Claire Price

THEATRE includes: THE POWER OF YES (Royal National Theatre); MARY STUART (Theatre Clwyd); PRIVATE LIVES (Hampstead Theatre) THE WHITE DEVIL (Menier Chocolate Factory); LADY FROM THE SEA (Birmingham Rep); CORIOLANUS (Tramway Theatre Glasgow); BLOOD WEDDING (Bloomsbury Theatre); CORIOLANUS (Bloomsbury Theatre); A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (New End Hampstead); THE DARK ROOM (The Finborough London); THE GIANT PRINCE (Quiksilver Children’s Theatre Tour); DEAD WHITE MALES (Nuffield); LOVE IN A WOOD (New End Theatre); WHEN DID YOU LAST SEE MY MOTHER (B. A. C); HARD TIMES (The Good Company); URSULA (The Wrestling School); VOLPONE, DON CARLOS (RSC); AS YOU LIKE IT (Manchester Royal Exchange); TWELFTH NIGHT (Liverpool Playhouse) THE RELAPSE (Royal National Theatre); RICHARD III (Sheffield Crucible); THE TEMPEST (Sheffield Crucible/Old Vic) BRAND (RSC/ Haymarket Theatre); CYRANO (Royal National Theatre); MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Sheffield Crucible); DR FAUSTUS (Bristol Old Vic)



Holli Dempsey

THEATRE; Make Love Not War (Talawa); No Way Home (Made in Da Shade); Our Baby Charlie (Theatre Royal Stratford); Reparations (Black History Tour); The Final Hour (Breaking Walls).

TELEVISION; Tracey Beaker, The Bill.

FILM; Dots, The Fighter’s Ballad, Game Keepers Without Games

Andrew Woodall

Theatre includes: Hedda Gabler (Gate Theatre Dublin); Much Ado About Nothing, The Voysey Inheritance The Life of Galilio, Luther, The Shape of the Table, Racing Demon and, most recently, Women Beware Women (National Theatre); Gaslight, King Lear, The Provok’D Wife, Cloud Nine, Waste (all Old Vic); As You Like It (Wyndhams); As You Desire Me (Playhouse); The Sugar Syndrome, Disappeared, Search & Destroy and Weldon Rising (Royal Court); Burning Issues (Hampstead); Certain Young Men and Butterfly Kiss (Almeida); A Letter of Resignation (Savoy); Our Late Night (Ambassadors); Don Carlos (Glasgow Citizens).

Television includes: The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, Above Suspicion, Personal Affairs, Men are Wonderful, Place of Execution, Heartbeat, Lawless, Hear the Silence, Charles II, Starhunter, Ultimate Force, Dalziel & Pasco, Murder Rooms, Hearts & Bones, Harbor Lights, Gimme Gimme Gimme, Nature Boy, Kavanagh QC, Degrees of Error, Seaforth, Headhunters, Prime Suspect III, Between the Lines, Underbelly, Wish Me Luck and Hannay.

Film includes: Hypnotic, The Count of Monte Cristo and Regeneration.

Richard Henders

Theatre for the Bush includes: Kiss the Sky
Other theatre includes: Most recently The White Guard at the National Theatre, Lord of the Rings (Theatre Royal Drury Lane), The Seagull (Bristol Old Vic), Rookery Nook (Oxford Stage Company); Pacific Overtures (Donmar – Olivier Award nomination); Love’s Labour’s Lost, Anything Goes, The Cherry Orchard, Summerfolk, The Merchant of Venice, Candide and Caroline Or Change (all National Theatre); Alice in Wonderland (RSC); Three Sisters (Chichester Festival Theatre); Oh What A Lovely War (National Theatre tour and Roundhouse Theatre); Frogs (National Theatre and tour); The Knocky (Royal Court Theatre); An Absolute Turkey (Leatherhead and West End); Hallisinia (National Theatre/Tate Gallery); A Tribute to the Blues Brothers (UK Tour); As You Like It (Cheek by Jowl - world tour); Just So (Tricycle Theatre); Macbeth (Royal Exchange Manchester); Stolen Christmas, Secrets of Theodore Brown (Unicorn Theatre); Cutters Story (Avignon International Festival); Julius Caesar (Birmingham Repertory Theatre); The Warehouse, The Cherry Blossom Tree (Liverpool Playhouse); London by Lamplight (Polka Theatre); Captain Swing (Leeds Playhouse)
Television Includes: Kingdom; Inspector Lynley Mysteries; Foyle’s War; The Children of the New Forest; Pie in the Sky; Can You Hear Me Thinking; Brother Cadfael; The Narnia Chronicles; Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit; Brookside

Film Includes: Pork Steak; The Merchant of Venice; Vroom; A Night With a Woman, A Day With Charlie.

Mandeep Dhillon

Mandeep trained at The Harris Drama School.

Theatre includes; The Tempest, Life (Candi Productions); New Path, Twisted Minds (Fearnhill Productions); Oliver, Annie (Wilbury Productions, Jeff Gentry).

Film includes; Some Dogs Bite.

Otto Farrant

Otto is currently training at Stagecoach Theatre School, Battersea

Theatre Includes; The Habit of Art, Oedipus (Royal National Theatre); The Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare’s Globe)

Film includes; Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, The Great Ghost Rescue, Clash of the Titans, Handgum, Panic, Happy Ever After

Television includes; The Bill.


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